Author of the forthcoming novel, The Only Living Man With A Hole In His Head, inspired by the true story of Phineas Gage.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Inspiration for novel

I was inspired to pen the novel, "The Only Living Man With a Hole in His Head", when I received a newspaper, sent by my mom (she knew of my love of history) that was actually a collection of old-time (many dating from the 1800's) articles on a variety of subjects. One in particular caught my interest. That was a story I had heard about as a kid (it had been famously featured in a Ripley's Believe it or Not cartoon) but didn't know the full details - that of railroad foreman Phineas Gage and how a tamping iron blasted through his skull, taking out part of his brain. But, the backstory of the doctor who had treated him, Dr. John Harlow, who kept extremely detailed journals of his treatments and of Phineas's recovery, is what really transfixed me. At first, nobody would believe that he had actually treated a man who could survive such an accident, let alone live to be walking and talking. It would be twenty years  - two decades! - until Dr. Harlow would have the evidence he would need to be vindicated.

The more I researched it, the more I was convinced it would make a great movie. I had been writing/directing independent films (see to view my award winning short "Execution at County Jail"). I wrote the screenplay of the Phineas story. Long  story condensed, after it won a few screenplay festival awards, and still not being able to convince any producers of it's worthiness (some seem to have an inversion to stories that take place in any time period before Frasier was airing) I decided that the chances of getting a novel published were more likely and would help get the film made (which I will be directing). 

I am now proud to announce that SB Addison Books will be publishing the novel in December. Moral is, never give up on your dreams. This has been a ten year journey for me. It doesn't happen overnight. But, anything worthwhile in life, usually takes time. I will post an excerpt shortly. 

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